Nevus follow-up is primarily performed for patients with a dysplastic nevus on the body. Dysplastic nevus is a term used for atypical nevi with a different appearance than ordinary nevi. They are generally irregularly shaped nevi containing different colors and with a larger diameter than ordinary nevi. The lesion may not change throughout life, just like other nevi. However, although rare, they can also convert into melanoma. The aim of nevus follow-up is to closely follow-up changes that may develop in dysplastic nevi and to detect a possible melanoma early.
Various factors that increase the risk of developing melanoma other than the presence of a dysplastic nevus have been identified. These include:
- Light skin, light-colored eyes, yellow-red hair or freckles
- A history of sunburn (especially severe sunburn in childhood)
- A large number (> 50) of nevi on the body
- A large number of congenital nevi
- Previous diagnosis of melanoma
- A family history of melanoma or skin cancer
- The use of drugs or suffering from a disorder that decrease immunity.
Nevus follow-up in the presence of these factors should be performed at intervals of 3 months, 6 months or 1 year as seen appropriate by your dermatologist.